RoboCrane is a radically new design of crane that combines enormous strength with the manoeuvrability of a robot. Currently under test at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland, USA, RoboCrane has been designed to lift heavy objects and to position loads with extreme accuracy. The 6 metre prototype can lift a load of 1000 kilogrammes and position the load to an accuracy of 2 millimetres. This is made possible by sensors which detect tension in the cables. The tension is adjusted by computer 10 times per second to keep the load stable. RoboCrane may be used to carry heavy drilling equipment, or for handling a disposing of hazardous waste.
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